The past few years have demonstrated the importance of data analytics in navigating constantly fluctuating economic conditions, from product shortages to supply chain disruptions. Analytics is now a ‘must have’ instead of a ‘nice to have’ to help enterprises react quickly to changing conditions and make informed decisions.
But if it was easy, more enterprises would be turning insights into action. It requires integrating data from multiple sources, cleaning that data to ensure quality, and then organizing it in such a way that it can be used for analysis—typically requiring skilled expertise.
A report by Harvard Business Review found that 86 per cent of enterprises believe it’s “very important” to glean extra value from existing data resources, yet only 30 per cent believe they’re “very effective” in achieving this.
That’s where Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can play a role, by providing analytic capabilities—such as dashboards and reporting—directly in their business software and applications. But many ISVs still lack this in their product offerings.
As demand increases for data-driven business applications, it will become increasingly important for ISVs to offer analytic capabilities within their products, giving customers the ability to track, organize, manipulate and make data accessible as part of the overall user experience.
Why should ISVs embed analytics?
While ISVs develop business software and applications, it doesn’t mean they’re experts in data analytics. So the simplest, fastest way for ISVs to get data into the hands of their customers is by embedding analytics directly into their products.
Embedded analytics, also known as embedded BI, is the integration of self-service BI tools into commonly used business software and applications. For ISVs, that means adding interactive reporting, dashboards and visual analysis into their products, be it reporting software, a cloud solution or an Internet of Things application.
In a report by Aberdeen Strategy Research, 75 per cent of ISVs buy (or plan to buy) embedded analytics capabilities from a third-party vendor to embed within their solutions (versus 47 per cent of enterprises). The research firm also found that ISVs experienced a 27 per cent faster time to market with embedded BI than enterprises did. And, “spending less time developing BI allows them to get their products to market faster,” says the report.
By offering analytics, ISVs can strengthen their product offering, provide a foundation for rapid growth and scalability, and get an edge over their competitors. The key is to ensure these features look and work just like their existing product to provide a consistent user experience.
Whether you’re adding analytics to existing web applications or client portals, developing SaaS or multi-tenant data solutions, or creating white-label or standalone BI solutions, here are three benefits of embedded analytics for ISVs:
1. Increase revenue
By embedding custom, white-label data analytics into your products, or by building new, standalone data products that can be deployed on-premise or hosted and sold in a SaaS model, you can open the door to new revenue streams.
And with a multi-tenant scenario, you can provide access to a suite of secure, customized reporting options for your customers—all while saving money on complex system maintenance and avoiding duplicated work efforts.
2. Increase customer satisfaction
Even ISVs that already have standard reporting capabilities can benefit from third-party embedded analytics. The right platform can take your environment beyond basic reporting, offering unique data layouts and greater interactivity within your reporting environment.
Adding data visualizations such as dashboards in your product adds immediate value to the customer, empowering them to make better decisions. In turn, a better user experience increases customer retention and lifetime value.
3. Increase competitive advantage
SVs want to deliver value to their customers, but they also want to go to market as quickly as possible. Rather than building out your own analytic capabilities, an embedded solution takes your application to an entirely new level and diversifies your product portfolio—at speed and at scale.
And since you don’t have to develop a solution from scratch, you can monetize your data analytics functionality while helping your customers gain more pertinent, business critical insights. Ultimately, this helps to close more deals and gives you an edge over your competitors.
What to look for in a solution
Whether it’s to enhance a customer’s web portal with better reporting, integrate dashboards into their on-premise and SaaS offerings, or build an entirely new data application from scratch, embedded analytics can help you get there faster.
Ideally, you want a solution that will seamlessly blend into your existing product so it has the same look and feel that your customers have come to expect. Indeed, your customers shouldn’t be able to tell they’re using a third-party tool. Here’s what to look for:
Open APIs: Look for a product built on fully open APIs, which means your developers can easily embed, extend and customize white-label analytics within your existing product—with the same look and feel customers expect.
Automatic data prep: Aside from the ability to quickly deliver analytics through strong out-of-the-box capabilities, smart defaults and automatic data prep mean fewer steps from raw data to end product—which, in turn, means faster time to market.
Ease of management: Look for a solution that can be centrally managed, with built-in features such as reusable data models, access control, version control, migration management and usage tracking.
Customization: The solution should allow you to customize elements and create data models from disparate data sources to provide a seamless, integrated data analytics experience for customers.
Flexibility: Avoid a solution that forces you to change your architecture. Look for tools that provide flexibility in how you store and work with data, which data you can connect and how data can be prepared for analysis.
Built-in self-service: The solution should offer more than canned reports, allowing for self-service, ad-hoc reporting and mashup capabilities. Avoid embedding a tool that requires a separate desktop application to perform self-service analytics.
Multi-tenancy: Look for multi-tenant deployment scenarios, so you’ll be able to cost-effectively scale your operations and securely manage tenants while maintaining a low total cost of ownership.
Scalability: The solution should support large-scale solutions with multi-tenant management, usage monitoring and unlimited user licensing, so you can continue to serve customers as your business grows without worrying about maintenance or unpredictable billing.
Why Dundas BI
Rather than cobbling together software from multiple vendors to meet your requirements of web integration, white-labelling and self-service metrics, Dundas BI can be integrated into your product offering to help build a branded application or web portal. And each element can be customized to provide a seamless, integrated and unifying data analytics experience.
Designed for white-label and embedded analytics, Dundas BI allows ISVs to diversify and enhance their products with advanced data prep, interactive dashboards, reporting and visual data analytics to increase product adoption, maximize your product’s value and grow your business.
Find out more about how Dundas BI helps ISVs accelerate their embedded BI projects.
About the Author
Vawn Himmelsbach is a writer and editor specializing in enterprise IT, writing for national newspapers and technology trade magazines on everything from AI to zero-day threats. She also spent three years working abroad as an Asian correspondent, covering all things tech.Follow on Linkedin